Convenience Retail University Recap

I recently attended CSP’s Convenience Retail University from February 2-4 in Dallas, which does a great job of bringing c-store marketing professionals together to discuss trends and strategies in the world of c-store marketing. My goal in attending was to better understand how c-store marketers view their brands and how they market new products that can enhance their brand while growing categories. What I came away with was that successful category marketing is very similar to successful technology and forecourt marketing. Continue reading

Have My Chip – Now Where’s My PIN?

Product Manager, Payment

As EMVTM cards have rolled out in other parts of the world, the majority of them have been issued with an associated PIN (Personal Identification Number) that a consumer must enter to successfully make a transaction.  In some countries use of a PIN is a mandated standard with EMV.  In the UK, it’s not uncommon to hear people informally refer to their EMV cards as “my Chip-and-PIN”.  However, as the U.S. migrates to EMV, we’ve seen most card issuers introduce EMV cards that only require a signature versus a PIN.  I’d like to take a moment to cover some of the reasons for the predominant move to Chip-and-Signature in the U.S. and what it might mean for retail petroleum operators. Continue reading

The Power Of One

Play at the Pump continues to intrigue both consumers and local media alike. It is an encouraging new concept that has repeatedly proven as a method to grow the lottery market.  Below is an excerpt from the local KHQA Missouri news station.

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The C-store Visit: Experience First, Product Second.

Large retail brands outside the c-store industry are placing an increasing emphasis on selling an experience first and a commoditized product second as a strategy to create brand loyalty and drive repeat customers. This concept, known as the “Experience Economy” was coined by Joseph Pine, a renowned marketing author, speaker and consultant, and was recently discussed on NPR’s Ted Hour, “What Consumers Want.”

Product Manager, Media

During the show, Pine talks about how brands such as Starbucks invest a lot in creating a specific experience for their consumers, in essence, making the experience of going to a Starbucks both memorable and authentic. How do they create such an experience? They create the Starbucks experience by the store layout to the earthy green and brown store colors to how the baristas talk about the coffee beans. One of Pine’s main points is that it is the more the experience that brings customers back, not always the coffee. Continue reading

EMV Made Easy – How the Consumer Experience Will Change

We are now less than 10 months away from the October 1st liability shift deadline for US retailers to adopt EMV technology at their indoor point-of-sale systems, and for card issuers to issue chip cards to their customers.  Current projections indicate that 70% of credit cards and 41% of debit cards will be EMV enabled by the end of 2015, and that over 50% of payment terminals will be EMV capable.  Despite these signs of progress in bringing EMV to the US, many average consumers, and even many retailers in our industry are either unaware of EMV in general, or don’t fully understand what it means for them.  Continue reading